June 22, 2008

Manipuri Khichdi and Ootti

Printable version here.

The recipes in this post are the result of a lot of Internet searching! When Bhags of Crazy Curry announced North Eastern food as the theme for RCI, I was quite interested. For one thing, I have been fascinated by the sheer beauty of that part of the country that I’ve seen in books and on TV. The North Eastern states of India are home to some of the most beautiful orchids in the world.
After going through the many search results, most of which were sketchy and largely repetitions of each other, what I realised was that non vegetarian food forms the bulk of their cuisine. And I had never heard of many of the ingredients used in those recipes.
We refer to the different states of Nagaland, Mizoram, Manipur, Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh by putting them together as one entity, but each state has its own particular separate identity.
My search for vegetarian recipes from these states led to my discovery of two blogs, Anthony's Kitchen and Monica Gi Chakum, with some Manipuri vegetarian recipes.

I chose to cook Manpuri Khichdi and Ootti from Anthony's blog. As he hadn’t given very exact measures for some ingredients, I have put down what I used. I didn’t have any pictures to refer to either. Otherwise I have stuck to his recipes.

Manipuri Khichdi

(Original post here)


1 cup basmati rice
¼ cup tuvar dal
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
2 tbsp peanuts, skinned
1 tsp cumin seeds
3 each of bay leaves, cardamom pods, cloves and red chillies
¼ tsp turmeric powder
salt to taste
1 tbsp oil
2 tbsp ghee


Cook the rice and dal till done but firm.
Heat the oil and ghee, add the peanuts and sauté till golden. Now add the bay leaves, cardamom, cloves, red chillies and cumin. Stir a couple of times and add the onions, sautéing till golden and soft. Add the turmeric powder, stir, and then add the cooked rice and dal. Salt as required. Take off the heat and mix everything, gently till well coated with the onion and spice.
Serve hot.


(Original post here)


1 ½ cups white peas
1 big onion, finely sliced
1 ½ “ginger, finely chopped
1 tsp cumin seeds
3-4 red chillies
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp cooking soda
1 tbsp oil
salt to taste


Soak the peas in water for about 5-6 hours and cook till done but firm. Put the peas into a pan, add one cup water, salt and the cooking soda. Bring it to a boil. There will be a lot of froth from the soda! I have never cooked (baked, yes) with cooking soda and it seems to make the peas a bit mushy.
In another pan, heat the oil and add the bay leave, cumin and chillies. Just sauté and add the ginger and onion. Saute till onions are brown. Pour this into the peas and mix well.
Serve hot.

We enjoyed the Manipuri Khichdi for lunch with Ootti, roasted pappads and some pickle. And in true south Indian style, finished the meal with yogurt (curds)!
I also just discovered, when Arundati reminded me, that the deadline for RCI submissions was long over. That’s how up to date I am with all things “bloggy” these days!!

Updated on 23rd June, 2008:

Bhags at Crazy Curry has requested me to send this in for RCI: North East Indian Cuisine, as she hasn't posted the round up yet. So Bhags, here this comes your way.


Anthony said...

This is great Aparna..

Looks amazing.. and i am glad you liked it..

I am sorry about the measure.. I never cook by measure.. lol.. just use my finger..

Linda said...

Hi Aparna! I'm so glad you posted this great khichdi and ooti pair. If I had more patience I would have liked to make the same for RCI. Maybe some weekend, now that you have inspired me, I shall :)

Looks SO delicious!

Rachel said...

I miss out on most events as well/ Aparna..Like what you have made here....

Simran said...

What if you missed RCI - its a beautiful dish.

There's something for you on my blog. Do check it out.

arundati said...

looks lovely aparna.....sounds like a lovely warm wholesome meal for the family to enjoy.

Bharathy said...

So sweet and amazingly prompt of you to visit my place,aparna :)
Seems I have to catch a real lot with all these wonderful posts of yours!..great going!..

Bharathy :)

Divya said...

Manipuri khichdi looks yum aparna..good effort..!!

Happy cook said...

I hace hear so much about khichidi, but never had them and Ooti is also new to me.
I gave a miss for RCI this time, was lazy to searche for recipe :-(

Asha said...

YUM! This RCI has been the toughest so far for everybody which is great, makes us think and learn!:))

Jj said...

Never tried anything quite like this but it looks delicious!

Trupti said...

i love anytype of khichdi..thanks for sharing Manipuri version. Ooti is new to me too. Thanks for sharing this recipe

Red Chillies said...

I so agree with you about the north-eastern states. Each one has its own taste and tradiotion. Loved the khichidi recipe.

bhags said...

Yes, the states in north east are meat lovers.....nice khichadi....why don't you send it for the RCI...i haven't done the round up yet

Sig said...

I don't know anything about the Northeastern cuisine , glad to learn a little bit from all the RCI entries... Kichdi looks delicious Aparna!

Nags said...

and i always thought ootti can only mean the name of a place :D

Susan from Food Blogga said...

I love all the different textures and spices in this dish, Aparna.

Latha Narasimhan said...

Nice khichidi aparna! :)) I too need to catch up with the events! :D
About blacknightshade , you can learn every name in google search! :)

A&N said...

nice! i am not very familiar with the cuisine in northeastern part of India. i paricularly enjoyed Ootti. Doesnt seem to have a lot of spices in it and yet it sounds delicious!

farida said...

Looks so delicious! I wish I dared to make it one day:)

Aparna said...

Thanks for the recipe, Anthony. Appreciate your approval. Traditional cooking is always with a pinch of this and a handful of that, so no problems.

Linda, you're kidding. And all the cooking you do? But do try this out. Tastes real good.

Thanks everyone for coming on my partial culinary discovery of the NE. The most difficult part was finding something to cook.

Thanks, Simran, for passing on the award to me.

True, Asha.

Thanks Bhags, for considering this post way past the deadline. Have sent it on to you.:)

So did I, Nags:D

Not too many spices, the a&n, so its a bit different but nice. The spice in the Ootti comes from the red chillies!

Sunshinemom said...

Good picture and recipe! Just saw the same combo at Priya of live to eat:)

Laura said...

Phew I got this made in time! And (I made the rice dish) it was SO SO SO good! I'm really glad I was introduced to your blog! The post is located here:

christ wath said...

Look delicious.this type of ootti is mostly cooked with fresh bamboo shoot.thin slices of shoot are soak for whole night n cook with white beans.this ll bring more taste into ootti.last,serve this khichidi in big lotus leaf along with ootti,d aroma of hot khichidi in lotus leaf is heavenly...;)

Aparna said...

Thanks for that input, Chris. I wasn't aware of that.